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"Angela Morley was a respected colleague and valued friend for over forty years. She was certainly one of the finest musicians I've ever known or worked with. As an orchestrator, her skill was unsurpassed, with a technical perfection that was drawn on and nourished by a lifelong devotion to music. She will be irreplaceable and greatly missed."
―John Williams, on working with Angela Morley[src]

Angela Morley (born on March 10, 1924 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England) was an English composer and conductor. In 1974, she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Morley served as an additional orchestrator for the original trilogy films Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, but remains uncredited due to contractual obligations. For A New Hope specifically, Morley contributed orchestration to "The Force Theme" in the Death Star trench run.

Biography[]

"Do you know the scene in Star Wars where Luke goes down into the Death Star trench and the voice says 'Use the Force, Luke?' That's my orchestration."
―Angela Morley[src]

Angela Morley was an English composer and conductor.[2] Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on March 10, 1924,[1] Morley went on to become the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award in 1974.[3]

Morley was a collaborator and friend of fellow composer and orchestrator Herbert W. Spencer, the principal orchestrator for the original trilogy films Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Morley met Star Wars composer John Williams through Spencer, and attended several of Williams' recording sessions at Denham Studios in England for the first Star Wars film. Williams personally asked Morley to orchestrate for the film, an opportunity that Morley considered an honor.[4]

Spencer and Morley went on to collaborate throughout the production of A New Hope[4] in 1977.[5] After working with Williams on A New Hope, Morley also provided additional orchestration to the film's sequel, The Empire Strikes Back,[2] in 1980.[6] Over the years, Morley became a frequent collaborator of Williams, working as an orchestrator on many of his subsequent film scores.[2]

Morley and all other additional orchestrators for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back remain uncredited in the film and all subsequent album releases of the films' music. Spencer, as principal orchestrator, is the only individual to receive an orchestration credit on the two films due to contractual agreements.[4] As such, all of Morley's specific contributions to the films' scores remain unknown, with one exception. Morley revealed that she orchestrated the use of "The Force Theme" in the Death Star trench run towards the end of the film.[3] Morley passed away on January 4, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States.[2]

Filmography[]

Year Score Contribution Notes
1977[5] Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope Additional orchestrator[4] Uncredited[5][6]
1980[6] Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back

Discography[]

Year Title Contribution(s) Notes
1977[7] Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Additional orchestrator Uncredited[4]
1980[8] Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1993[9] Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology
2016[10] Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection
Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition
Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection

Notes and references[]

External links[]

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